Ancient Ruins & Architecture Of Erstwhile Vijayanagara

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. It's ancient ruins and architectural marvels showcase this powerful empire's artistic and engineering brilliance
The famous chariot temple in Hampi
The famous chariot temple in HampiDeposit Photos

Hampi, located in the Indian state of Karnataka, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts numerous tourists fascinated by ancient ruins and architectural marvels. Once the capital of the formidable Vijayanagara Empire, one of South India's most influential empires from the 14th to the 16th centuries, this city boasts magnificent temples, regal structures, and other extraordinary architectural feats. These remnants showcase the empire's exceptional artistic and engineering skills, providing visitors with a captivating glimpse into its illustrious history. Join us as we delve into the captivating realm of Hampi, uncovering the rich heritage and architectural wonders that define this remarkable destination.

The famous Vitthala temple
The famous Vitthala temple Shutterstock

Vitthala Temple

A popular attraction in Hampi is the Vittala Temple, known for its stunning stone chariot. The temple was built in the 15th century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple has a large hall with pillars that produce musical notes when struck. The stone chariot is carved out of a single block of granite and has wheels that can be rotated.

Banana fiber crafts
Banana fiber craftsShutterstock

Hampi Bazaar

The Hampi Bazaar is a lively marketplace which was once the city's centre of trade and commerce. The bazaar has shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional clothing. It also has several temples and shrines, including the Monolithic Bull.

A view of the Virupaksha temple from Matanga Hill
A view of the Virupaksha temple from Matanga HillShutterstock

Virupaksha Temple

The most famous attraction in Hampi is the Virupaksha Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has several structures, including the main temple, a pillared hall, and a courtyard. The temple complex has a towering gopuram over fifty meters tall and is decorated with intricate carvings of Hindu deities and mythological creatures. The temple courtyard has a giant statue of Nandi, the bull, considered Lord Shiva's vehicle.

The Elephants Stables
The Elephants StablesWikimedia Commons

Elephant Stables

The Elephant Stables were used to shelter the royal elephants and their caretakers. The stables have 11 domed chambers that are connected by a long corridor. The chambers have arched openings and are decorated with carvings of elephants and other animals.

The Lotus mahal showcases Islamic influence on the architecture
The Lotus mahal showcases Islamic influence on the architectureShutterstock

Lotus Mahal

The Lotus Mahal is another architectural marvel in Hampi. It is a two-story structure the royal family used as a summer palace. The palace has a unique design, with a central dome and two wings resembling a lotus flower's petals. It is decorated with intricate carvings and has several balconies and windows that provide a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

Queen's Bath at Hampi
Queen's Bath at HampiWikimedia Commons

Queen's Bath

The Queen's Bath is a unique structure the royal family used for bathing. The bath is a large rectangular pool surrounded by a high wall. The pool has several steps that lead to a platform in the centre, which was used for performances and ceremonies. The bath has intricate carvings, and several balconies provide a view of the surrounding area.

Inside the Hazara Rama Temple
Inside the Hazara Rama TempleFlickr

Hazara Rama Temple

The Hazara Rama Temple is another important temple in Hampi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and has several panels that depict scenes from the Ramayana, an epic Indian mythological tale. The temple has a pillared hall decorated with carvings of horses, elephants, and other animals.

The Information

Getting There: Hampi is accessible by air, train, or road.It is 5 hours from Bengaluru Airport by road through the new expressway. Visitors can reach Hampi from Hubli Airport or Hospet Junction as well by taxi or bus.

Where To Stay: The only luxury hotel is Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace. Another affordable luxury hotel is Clark's Inn. Other than these, backpackers prefer to stay in hostels and homestays in Anegundi, across the river.

Best Time To Visit : The winter season, which lasts from October to February, is the best time to visit Hampi. Monsoon, during July - September also presents great opportunities to beat the heat.

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